About

Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow

In brief…

My name is Yasmin Fudakowska-Gow and I am a professional wellbeing coach, speaker and writer. I am an accredited naturopathic doctor specializing in Ayurveda and have taught yoga around the world for over 15 years. In 2010, I completed 108 days of 108 sun salutations and then became the first woman to break the Guinness World Record for the longest yoga marathon lasting 32 hours. This initiative made headlines worldwide and raised more than $15,000 for charity.

I am the producer of several top selling yoga videos, audio recordings and the author of Introduction to Ashtanga Yoga.  I’ve toured Canada as a speaker with environmental activist David Suzuki, trained professional athletes and run two successful yoga studios. I travel a lot for work and pleasure, but Panama City, Panama and Montreal, Quebec are my two home bases. In Old Montreal, I have a beautiful 2,o00 sq. ft multi-disciplinary studio called Loft 108, where we host regular workshops, trainings and other special events.

My mission is to inspire and empower people to expand their potential, to reach great heights and to thrive in all areas of life; To supporting entrepreneurs particularly in the wellness industry; To promote environmental sustainability and social justice.


Recognitions…

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View my upcoming events
Learn about my ayurvedic consultations
Get to know my teaching style
Read my blog

More About Yasmin

EARLY INFLUENCES
My celebration of life began in Montreal and I can honestly say I had a great childhood. With two physical education teachers as parents, I went camping, built forts, collected superhero cards and performed my version of Flash Dance and/or Dirty Dancing during every show and tell throughout kindergarten and grade one. While my competitive athlete father taught me how to set goals and properly throw a ball, my mother instilled in my brother and me an appreciation for art and culture. My mom also introduced me to meditation, holistic healing and activism, which set me on the path I am now.

As a child, I would observe my mother’s daily meditation practice with great curiosity. She would often invite me to join her, laying a big quartz crystal in my lap and asking me if I could feel the energetic properties of the stone. I became engrossed in this magic of peaceful sitting and soulful contemplation. My maternal grandmother, an artist and clairvoyant, also enhanced this interest in spiritual development, as she was a Sri Sathya Sai Baba follower and would sometimes bring me to the Sai Baba Centre in Montreal.

MENTORS + TRAINING
With the help of my vivacious mentor, Gigi Cohen (now owner of Café Juicy Lotus), I was introduced to yoga at age 14. It was the perfect balance between spirituality, dance and gymnastics— all things that inspired me. Ashtanga yoga teacher, Mark Darby, was my first instructor. I was an awkward teenager—tall and clumsy. Darby was strict with me, and from him, I learned the importance of tapas (discipline and commitment) and became more coordinated. In 2001, following two months of intensive study in British Columbia with a kripalu yoga teacher named Claire, I began leading kid yoga classes. I then started teaching hatha yoga to adults, and participated in David Swenson’s 40-hour Ashtanga Teacher Training in 2002. A few years later, I graduated from Concordia University in Journalism & Communication, and amassed more than 1000 hours of yoga workshops and teacher trainings with various senior instructors, including Mark Darby, Donna Farhi Hart Lazer and Chuck Miller.

YOGA CAREER + GUINNESS WORLD RECORD
I have yet to look back. I have taught yoga on four continents, presented at five international yoga conferences, instructed professional athletes and released five yoga DVDs, plus an instructional audio guide. I bought, developed and recently sold my yoga studio— the one Ms. Cohen used to own—where I took my first yoga class with Darby. In 2010, I set out to explore the limits of my yoga practice. I practiced a yoga mala—108 surya namaskar or sun salutations—every day for 108 days. (See my blog.) It has been the most amazing journey of my life so far. I met incredible people in the yoga community who helped me raise more than $15,000 for three charities — Canadian Institute for the Blind, the David Suzuki Foundation, and the Stephen Lewis Foundation. At the end of these 108 days, my supporters even encouraged me through a 32-hour Guinness World Records™ setting marathon, an experience that has changed me forever.

SUSTAINABLE YOGA FOR LONG-TERM HAPPINESS {SuYoLoH}
Through the sometimes arduous practice of 108 daily sun salutations for 108 days in a row and the preparation and execution of 32 hours of consecutive yoga, I discovered that with every day and every practice, comes a new challenge and a new opportunity for exploration and growth. I now practice and advocate Sustainable Yoga for Long-Term Happiness (SuYoLoH), an approach to yoga that encourages adapting the practice according to the seasons, the body’s natural ebbs and flows as well as to our individual strengths and limitations. There are countless variations for even the most basic yoga postures. So, the work revolves around being creative. It’s about witnessing what’s happening in the present moment, assessing our state and then finding innovative and inspiring ways to respond to our observations. It has become my passion to guide students in this process, as it has allowed me to heal deep pains in my body and heart. (Read more about my teaching style)

AYURVEDA
Expanding my knowledge of Ayurveda has also been a big part of this shift in perception for me, as it has deeply enriched my practice and health. A sister to yoga, Ayurveda is a healing science based on the five elements—earth, air, fire, water, and space. My teacher is Vaidya Anita Sharma. I am accredited as an Ayurvedic practitioner with the National Association of Naturopaths. I offer Ayurvedic consultations in Old Montreal. My specialties include improving women’s health, digestion, sleep, and respiratory issues. (More about my ayurvedic services.)